Week 3 Discussion: The Internet: Privacy And Safety Concern
The amount of personal information you keep private while online is called internet privacy. Moreover, we mean anything directly related to your personal life when we say private information. This includes your home or work address, phone number, medical history, and contact information. Ultimately, it is not only personal information that users share online. It is also financial data such as credit cards or bank records. All these can easily end up in the wrong hands and lead to unfortunate scenarios where your money or identity is stolen. In keeping with regulatory requirements and policies from the medical regulatory authorities (Colleges), physicians are required to use appropriate measures to safeguard the privacy of patient’s personal health information. Be aware of and follow relevant standards, guidance from your college, and requirements under the privacy legislation in your jurisdiction. Use a data-sharing agreement to clarify obligations about sharing patient information via electronic medical records. Cloud storage allows data to be stored on an off-site server operated by a third party. However, information custodians (e.g., physicians, hospitals, etc.) remain accountable for the confidentiality of the information. Consider security and privacy issues before entering into a cloud service agreement. Considerations include restrictions to access, data security, data backups, and service reliability. Be aware of the jurisdiction where personal health information will be stored and whether restrictions prevent information from residing on servers outside Canada. While responsibility for the privacy of medical records maintained by hospitals rests primarily with the institution as the custodian, if you are a staff physician, you should be familiar with any obligations you may have under the institution’s policies, access or data sharing agreements, or your role as an agent or affiliate of the institution under privacy legislation.